Impossible to play under US Open’s COVID-19 protocols, Djokovic says

first_imgRelatedPosts COVID-19: NCAA to revoke erring airlines licence over non-compliance FRSC to Schools: We’ll arrest, prosecute drivers who flout COVID-19 rules Djokovic clinches fifth Italian Open title World number one Novak Djokovic has said participating in the US Open would be an impossible task due to the “extreme” COVID-19 protocols in place for the tournament at Flushing Meadows.The US Open, scheduled to begin on August 31, will be the first Grand Slam to be played after the COVID-19 pandemic suspended the season in March. The French Open was postponed to September, while the Wimbledon championships was cancelled.The suspension of the tennis season was last extended until the end of July but Djokovic, a three-times champion in New York, is not sure the tournament will go ahead.“I had a telephone conversation with the leaders of world tennis. There were talks about the continuation of the season, mostly about the US Open due in late August, but it’s not known whether it will be held,” Djokovic said.“The rules that they told us that we would have to respect to be there, to play at all, they are extreme. We would not have access to Manhattan, we would have to sleep in hotels at the airport, to be tested twice or three times per week.“Also, we could bring one person to the club which is really impossible. I mean, you need your coach, then a fitness trainer, then a physiotherapist.” Djokovic suggested economic factors were behind the push to play the tournament.“They want the tournament to go ahead at any cost for economic reasons, which I understand,” he said. “But the question is, how many players are willing to accept those terms.”World number two Rafa Nadal had also said he would not travel to the US in the present circumstances.Nadal has also questioned whether tennis can restart with the pandemic still gripping large parts of the world and unless every player is able to compete.“For me (it) is very difficult to separate the status that the world is living from my real perspective on the world of tennis,” Nadal said this week. “We need to be responsible, we need to be sure that the situation is safe enough, and then of course try to come back to our tour when the things are clear.”The US leads the world in total cases, numbering over 1.9 million, while it has also recorded more than 109,000 deaths due to the novel coronavirus.Reuters/NAN.Tags: COVID-19French OpenNovak DjokovicRafa NadalUS OpenWimbledon Openlast_img read more

Arsenal set to move for Bielik

first_img In an interview reported on www.legia.sport.pl, he said: “I hope that the two clubs come together and I go to London to fulfil my dreams. “He (Wenger) knows that I have the skills, am determined to win and he wants to sign me as soon as possible to start working with me.” Arsenal are also said to be running the rule over 16-year-old Uruguayan attacking midfielder Federico Valverde from Penarol. While Wenger clearly still has one eye on the future, more pressing matters over the next few weeks will be to recruit some experienced cover to bolster the first-team squad as they head into the defining period of the campaign. St Etienne captain Loic Perrin claims the Gunners are looking to bring him in. The £7million-rated 29-year-old centre-half was recently called into the French national team and would offer some reinforcement to an Arsenal rearguard which has been brutally exposed time and again this season. Boca Juniors striker Jonathan Calleri, 21, is another reported target, with Yaya Sanogo expected to go out on loan, Bordeaux leading the chase, and Lukas Podolski having already left for Inter Milan. It remains to be seen, meanwhile, whether goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny will be recalled for the home Barclays Premier League match against Stoke on Sunday following reports he was smoking after the 2-0 defeat at Southampton on New Year’s Day. Former Gunners midfielder John Jensen alleged during comments made as a media pundit for Danish TV during Sunday’s FA Cup third round win over Hull that the Poland international was involved in a heated bust-up with Wenger and subsequently was dropped in favour of David Ospina as a result, a claim which Arsenal subsequently have denied. However, stories have since emerged the player had a cigarette following the match at St Mary’s Stadium, during which he was at fault for the goals, and could be hit with a fine. The 6ft 2ins 17-year-old is viewed as an emerging prospect by the Gunners, but Legia, who only signed the player last year and have him under contract until 2017, are holding out for a fee in excess of £2million. Bielik has told the Polish press of being impressed by Arsenal during a trip to England before Christmas. Press Associationcenter_img Arsenal are expected to push ahead with their interest in Legia Warsaw teenage midfielder Krystian Bielik during the January transfer window.last_img read more